We all know what the verdict will be before the trial even begins, but Cuba’s Castro crime syndicate likes to put on a show. A Canadian businessman who ran afoul of the Cuban mafia, headed by the Castro crime family, will be joined by Canadian diplomats as the Cuban dictatorship puts on a show trial, which will eventually end in the former business partner being given a lengthy prison sentence.
That is, of course, unless the Canadian government offers to pay a ransom and “buy” their citizen back from the Castro mafia.
Cuba: Diplomats in courtroom as Canadian businessman’s corruption trial beginsAfter two years in jail with no charges, North York’s Sarkis Yacoubian now faces serious corruption charges that could get him 12 years in prison.
When Sarkis Yacoubian walks into a courtroom in Havana Thursday to face serious corruption charges that could send him to prison for 12 years, the North York businessman will have a high-powered diplomat keeping a close eye on his trial — Canada’s ambassador to Cuba.
As the Toronto Star revealed last week, Yacoubian, who ran a successful $30 million transport and trading company called Tri-Star Caribbean, was handed a 63-page indictment by Cuban prosecutors in April accusing him of three counts of bribery, ta
After almost two years in custody without charges, Yacoubian’s fate will be decided by a panel of five judges in a hearing that is expected to last no longer than two days at the Criminal Court of the Peoples’ Tribunal for Havana Province.
Other jailed foreigners and diplomats are nervously watching to see how far the Cuban justice system, not known for its transparency or independence, will go in pursuing a case that has become an international political flashpoint.
In an apparent signal about just how seriously Ottawa views the case, the Department of Foreign Affairs this week informed Julian Falconer, Yacoubian’s lawyer in Canada, that Ambassador Matthew Levin will attend both days of the trial along with the Consul General at the embassy.
“It is very rare for the ambassador to show up in a courtroom,” said Gar Pardy, a former director general of consular services for Canada. “It sends a message to the Cuban authorities: this is a case of direct interest to the government of Canada.”
Levin had previously visited Yacoubian at least four times while he was in La Condesa prison on the outskirts of Havana.
Yacoubian was arrested in July 2011 as part of the Cuban Communist Party’s highly-charged political campaign against corruption.
Continue reading HERE.